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Quick glance

  • 23rd summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), hosted by India
  • At this summit, Iran becomes the official 9th member of this group.
  • The Republic of Kazakhstan will host the SCO summit in 2024.

Shanghai Cooperation Organization countries attended the 23rd summit virtually in India. The city of New Delhi hosted the summit. The last summit of the SCO was held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.

Shanghai Cooperation Organization countries attended the summit in Uzbekistan. The city of Samarkand hosted the summit. This was the first in-person summit, which was held after the virtual summit because of Covid-19 

Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Pakistani PM Shehbaz Sharif among other leaders attended the 23rd summit of SCO.

India hosted the SCO meeting for the first time after becoming a permanent member since 2017.

Permanent members of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)

Varanasi has been nominated as the first Tourism and Cultural Capital of SCO. It means that in the year 2023, many cultural events will take place in Varanasi. These events will attract many authors, scholars, musicians, students, journalists, travel bloggers, and tourists from member countries.

The framework of nomination for the tourism and cultural capital of SCO was adopted at the Dushanbe summit 2021. The main objective of adopting this framework is to exchange cultural values between the member countries.

Shanghai Cooperation Organization 2023 theme:

The theme of SCO 2023 is Towards a ‘SECURE‘ SCO. Here, SECURE stands for

S- Security

E- Economic development

C- Connectivity

U- Unity

R- Respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity

E- Environmental Protection

Highlights of Shanghai Cooperation Organization 2023:

  • India refused to be a member of the Border Road Initiative (BRI) of China as it passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, which is a land dispute between India and Pakistan.
  • The countries issued two joint statements: one to counter terrorism and extremism, and the other to encourage cooperation among nations for digital transformation.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia will strongly oppose the sanctions imposed by western countries.
  • Chinese President Xi Jinping said that SCO members must be aware of the external forces that will try to create a Cold War in the region.
  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, without naming a particular country, urged the member countries to strictly criticize the countries that use cross-border terrorism as their policy and shelter terrorists.
  • Narendra Modi said that Afghanistan’s soil should not be used to destabilize neighboring countries, and humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people and the setting up of an elected government in Afghanistan are the priorities of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
  • The biggest achievement of this summit is that Iran has officially become the 9th permanent member of the SCO. Indian Prime Minister Modi congratulated Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi and the Iranian people on becoming permanent members of this Eurasian Block.
  • India created five new pillars in the SCO, and these are:
  1. Traditional medicine
  2. Digital inclusion
  3. Shared Buddhist heritage
  4. Youth Empowerment 
  5. Startups and innovation
  • Belarus signed the SCO Memorandum of Obligation, which will help this country become a full-term member of the SCO in the coming years.

The Meaning of Shanghai Cooperation Organization

SCO is an international political, economic, and military organization to surpass Western influence in Eurasia.This is an international organization. It was created in 2001 in Shanghai. The founding members were Russia, China, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan.

The main aim of this organization is to maintain peace, security, and the development of trade, transport, infrastructure, and tourism in the region.

Headquarter of Shanghai Cooperation Organization

The headquarters of SCO are located in Beijing, the capital of China.

Official languages of Shanghai Cooperation Organization

There are two official languages of SCO that is 

  • Russian
  • Chinese. 

Objectives of the SCO:

1.The main objective of this intergovernmental organization is to establish health relations among neighboring countries.

2. Another aim is to promote the exchange of science and technology, culture, tourism, education, etc. among the member nations.

3. To establish peace, security, and stability in the region.

4. To strengthen the cooperation between members to fight against terrorism, extremism, and separatism.

Permanent Members of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation

There are a total of 8 permanent members of SCO. The names of these member countries are- 

● Russia 

● China 

● Kazakhstan 

● Uzbekistan 

● Tajikistan 

● Kyrgyzstan 

● India 

● Pakistan 

● Iran 

It is to be noted that India and Pakistan became members of the group at the Astana summit in 2017 in 2017 and Iran became a member in 2021.

Observer Countries 

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization currently has three observers. These are:

  • Afghanistan
  • Belarus 
  • Mongolia

Dialogue Countries 

The SCO has six countries as the dialogue partners. These are;

  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Cambodia 
  • Nepal
  • Turkiye 
  • Sri Lanka

Some facts about SCO 

The SCO countries cover-

  1. 30% of the global GDP.
  2. 40% of the total world population.
  3. 60% of Asia and Europe’s land area

Thus, we can say that it is one of the world’s largest regional organizations in Eurasia ( Europe and Asia).

Structure of Shanghai Cooperation Organization

The Heads of State Council: This Council is the highest and apex body in the SCO. It meets every year to make all important decisions regarding SCO. 

SCO Heads of Government Council: This Council of Heads of Government takes decisions regarding the economic matters of the organization, like the budget.

Some other meetings are also held every year, like those of the Speaker of Parliament, Foreign Ministers, Defense Ministers, Heads of Supreme Courts and Courts of Arbitration, etc., of member countries.

SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structures, commonly known as RATs. RAT is a permanent body in which all SCO member countries coordinate with each other and share information to fight against terrorism and extremism. SCO RATs is located at Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Declaration of SCO 2022- 

  1. Use technology for peaceful purposes.
  2. No member country should interfere in the internal matters of another country.
  3. Ensure equal rights for all countries to regulate the internet.
  4. It advocates the independence and sovereignty of the member countries.
  5. Further development of trade, tourism, and infrastructure.

In which year was the SCO established?

The SCO was initially called the Shanghai Five, whose member countries were China, Russia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan. But with the entry of Uzbekistan in 2001, the Shanghai Five was renamed SCO.

Which country is hosting the SCO Summit 2024?

Next year’s SCO Summit will be held in the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Which country hosted the SCO summit in 2023?

The 23rd summit was held by India in 2023.

What is the theme of the SCO 2023?

The theme of the SCO 2023 is Towards a SECURE SCO. SECURE stands for security, economic development, connectivity, unity, respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, and environmental protection.

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